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Ask Flipped: Where Should I Hang My Stolen Artwork?

Welcome back to Ask Flipped, where we answer very real questions from readers who are having problems with home decor, design, or anything else. Do you have a question? Write it on a post-it note and throw it into a strong gust of wind. If it was meant to be, we will find the post-it and answer the question.

Dear Flipped,

I recently acquired a very nice painting—through means which, let's just say they were entirely legal—that I had hoped to flip (haha!). You know, sell to another person. I have a buyer lined up and we'd agreed on a price, but I've found that every time I look at the painting I feel strong and powerful, like I can get away with anything. So I've decided I'm going to keep it. My question is, where is the best place in the house to hang artwork?

Let's keep this between us,

Dear [redacted],

It's difficult to answer a question like this one without knowing the layout of your house. For example, some art collectors, like me, prefer to hang every one of their paintings in the foyer so that visitors are immediately overwhelmed by how wealthy and refined I am. If you have a foyer, that's a great option.

However, it sounds like you are more concerned with being able to look at the painting yourself than you are with showing it off. And if that's the case, may I suggest digging a secret room in your basement and storing the painting there? Here's what you'll need to do:

1. Start digging. The room should be large enough for you to stand comfortably, for hours at a time, soaking in the majesty of your stolen artwork. Luckily, as you mentioned, you are feeling very strong and powerful right now, so the digging shouldn't be too difficult. Also, get a contractor in there before you start, and make sure that you aren't going to make part of your house collapse. But don't tell him what you're actually doing down there, obviously.

2. Pick out a door. This is the fun part. A lot of people with secret stolen artwork rooms think that the door itself needs to just look like the surrounding wall, for maximum camouflage, but don't fall into that trap. What about a bookcase that swings open when you take out a certain book? Or a fake washing machine that you crawl through? Or even a regular door that only opens via retina scanner? The options are limitless.

3. Don't overdecorate. Inside your secret room, the painting is the star. A single lightbulb hanging from the ceiling should suffice.

4. Climate control. I cannot even tell you how many readers of the column have frantically written me saying things like, "Help! My secret room is so humid and the paint is peeling right off my stolen Van Gogh!" Don't let that happen to you—you'll feel like a real chump.

And that's it. Pretty simple, as far as home renovations go. One more piece of advice, though. Whatever your painting is (and I'm not asking), the key to displaying artwork is cohesion. Do you have any other stolen masterpieces that you can pair it with? If not, consider acquiring some more. The Cleveland Art Museum is one of my favorite pilfering spots, with a large display of post-impressionist works in the East Wing and shockingly lax security since the renovation was completed in 2013.

Hope that helps,